Mac Pro Vs iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mac.Jnr, May 31, 2007.

  1. Mac.Jnr macrumors member

    May 26, 2007
    Hello all!

    I'm in the market for a new computer now, my ol' iMac G4 is ready to retire.

    I've basically got two choices:

    Mac Pro:
    2x 2.66ghz, 1gb ram, ati x1900.


    24' inch, 2gb ram, 7600g, 2.33ghz.


    The things I'll be doing are gaming (bootcamp), using itunes, surfing the web and etc. Nothing to serious like video editing and stuff although i would like to make some home movies. Since I'm only 13 i'm wondering if the Mac Pro is overkill for me.

    Can someone tell me/direct me to gaming benchmarks for each system.
    Games that I would like to play:

    CounterStrike: Source
    Test Drive
    Rainbow Six: Vegas
    Battlefield2/ 2142

    So which one would be ideal for me?

    I'll be using it for a while so I don't want it to be a dinosaur in a year or two!

    Thanks in advance!
  2. mashinhead macrumors 68030

    Oct 7, 2003
    Yeah the mac pro will be over kill. you should really only consider it if you do professional video editing or 3d rendering regularly. i don't think you fall in to that lot. The imac will be fine.

    there is wisdom in your sn, it pretty much answers your question.
  3. Mac.Jnr thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2007
    thanks for the reply.

    Yes I guess I won't be doin anything that will use the full potential of the mac pro.

    I'm just wondering if the iMac would be able to handle the games I have posted.
  4. MacVortex macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2007

    You will have no problems with the Games you have listed. It will work fine. I believe the new 24" Imac does have an option for 3GB. I would max it out and you are totally fine.
  5. tango554 macrumors member

    May 6, 2007
    Yea the imac will save you space, money and you get a isight camera.
  6. Frankf300 macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2006
    Yea, the iMac will do what you want with ease. To go and buy a Mac Pro for those uses would be ridiculous. Hence the Pro in the name lol, the Mac Pro is really only for video editors, graphic designers, and audio production. A Mac Pro would get depressed in your home lol, they like to be pushed to the limit :D . Go for the iMac, it's all you need and you'll love it. Good luck! :)
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    If you got the Mac Pro you would also need to budget for a new monitor as well adding another £200 - £1100 depending on the size of monitor you go for.

    Go for the iMac.
  8. MagicUK macrumors regular


    May 12, 2007
    Hampshire, England
    All that advise and nobody has picked up on the only real thing that counts.

    Everything will work, but maybe not how you quite expect. The questions I would ask is can you afford the higher spec machine.

    If you can, then the question is moot. Buy as much as you can afford and grow into it. At 13 you are just starting to learn what you can do, let alone what a computer can do for you. So don't just buy what you need now buy something that will last you.
  9. Mac.Jnr thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2007
    Thanks for all the help!

    Yes, my dad gave me a budget that allows me enough to buy a mac pro plus a monitor.

    The thing is that I don't get to upgrade my computer every 2-3 years. So if I head to the Mac Pro direction and it will be still a stallion 4+ years later I wouldn't mind dumping extra cash

    If I get the Mac Pro, what kind of monitors would you guys suggest.

    In the 19" inch - 24" inch size. (widescreen)
  10. TimJim macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    If i was you you and i had to choose i would most definetly go with the iMac. The Mac Pro is unesesary for what you are going to use it for. But, if your Dad is giving you the limit for the Mac Pro and you don't feel guilty about the extra cash you need to dish out, go with that.
  11. dingdongbubble macrumors 6502a

    Jun 1, 2007
    PC and Mac Combo

    If you want to do some gaming, I would recommend getting a PC and a Mac both. The PC could be one with the middle to high end components in it and the Mac could be a laptop so that you have Mac OSX and you have the portability of a computer all the time. You could go with a PC box that can be changed easily so that in the future you can upgrade your graphics card which would bring back performance to your computer. A Core 2 Duo 1.83 Ghz is recommended because it can be overclocked very easily. You can overclock it once the warranty expires and you think that the performance is slowing down.

    The best option I guess would be to go for a mid range Mac like a Macbook or iMac and at the same time get a PS3 or XBOX 360. These give you high end gaming for atleast 5 more years and Sony claims 10 years for the PS3. You wont need to upgrade components and worry about performance.

    Now onto the games you said you would play. I dont think an iMac would be able to play them well. Even the 24" iMac with the 7600GT graphic card would not be good enough for some of the games. You cant upgrade soon enough in the future you said and the Mac cant be upgraded too. So how do you plan on playing games in the future? When the 7600GT came out, it was mid range and now that some time has passed and DirectX 10 games are rolling out, I wouldnt say that your Mac would be good enough for gaming even in the near future.

    The only decent graphic card for gaming is on the Mac Pro, the Ati Radeon X1900 but even that will very soon get outdated with DirectX 10 game rolling out. With all this in consideration I would HIGHLY recommend a gaming machine and a 'normal' Mac.

    :apple: :apple: :apple: :apple: :apple: :apple: :apple:
  12. Frankf300 macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2006
    It's tough to say with that being the case. I took a look at the prices with the machines spec'd the way you'd like and the iMac is still $200 cheaper. So, between that $200 and a decent display for the Mac Pro (~$450+) you're looking at an extra $650+ that goes into getting a Mac Pro up and running. Whereas the iMac is a big 24" and is spec'd nicely. The way I see it, that's another $650 that can be put into the iMac if you want or keep it to the side when you need new software or hardware. Does the Mac Pro have a faster processor? Of course it does, but I don't think it will matter much for your needs. You'll get plenty of years out of an iMac, the Mac Pro isn't going to last you any longer, especially since it isn't even designed with your needs in mind. Basically, it would be like a 90 year old woman buying a Mac Pro to check her e-mail. An iMac can do it just as well if not better and it will last just as long. If you're not going to use the Mac Pro's full potential, there is no reason to get it. I still vote for the iMac. :D
  13. Mac.Jnr thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2007
    I would love to get a Mac + PC but the thing is i've been using macs all my life and I don't think i'll be able to build myself a decent rig. I could always fork out some more cash and pay dell to do it for me but it will blow my budget.

    Is it really easy to build a PC? How much time/money/effot is needed

    If I could build a PC then I'd just buy a mini or low end iMac.

    So I can enjoy the best of both worlds... oh i wish..

    I don't like to game on consoles, specially FPS games i rather a computer.

    So Xbox360 and PS3 is a big no no for me.
  14. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    It's not going to be an easy choice, dingdongbubble has the best suggestion. I'm sure if your father is willing to drop over $2500 on a computer he's surely willing to listen to how the best solution in both experience, performance and cost is going to be a mid range mac and then something else for games. Over $2000 of the Mac Pro's cost is to provide support for 16GB of ram and the 4 processor cores, things that you don't need at all. Most adults I know switching to macs have similar needs to yourself, and are going the route of a gaming pc with a lowend core 2 duo processor and a midrange direct X 10 graphics card coupled with a macbook. The iMac choice you listed should run all the games you mentioned at medium settings (at least), but it's not suited for it and won't play newer graphically demanding games well.
  15. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    It's not that hard, it's not much different than LEGO, there are plenty of websites out there to help. There are also surely small computer shops in your local area that could build and support a system for you. Of course you may want to wait with all the hype about new iMacs and Mac Pros, things could be very different by the end of the month. Perhaps both containing DX10 graphics cards, and even cheap headless (no monitor) Macs.
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I didn't really understand why people said it was a no-brainer to get the iMac, and now I really really don't know why.

    Get the Mac Pro. Overkill? Do we all buy computers that are just fast enough for what we want to do today? Things change. Games change. You can get a new processor or video card for your Mac Pro if you want. You can't do that with an iMac. Also, do you really like the idea of an LCD that's built into the iMac? What happens when the LCD stops working, or when you find it's too dim, not fast enough, or not colour accurate enough for what you want to do/play in the future?

    Not an Apple LCD. You're a gamer, and they're too slow. I'd suggest NOT getting any LCD with a 2 ms response time, and NOT getting an LCD monitor like the Apple Cinema Displays. Those LCDs use a type of LCD panel that's great for games (your main interest right now), but bad for photos and other things. The Apple LCD isn't exactly meant for games, and appropriately enough, it isn't! Even a much cheaper LCD would be better.

    If you get one with a 4, 6, or 8 ms response time, it would be a good compromise between image quality and gaming, and you'd get satisfactory performance for both. Do they even make an LCD with 6 ms response time?
  17. 2ndPath macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2006
    As it has been said before, the iMac has at best a medium range graphics card today and if you want to keep it for 4+ years, this component will be very outdated. Graphics cards are still some of the quickest developing and thus fastest aging components. This is a crucial point if you want to game. In theory the 24" iMac has an exchangeable graphics card, but to my knowledge there is no upgrade card available yet. This might change in the future, but I wouldn't bank on it. On the Mac Pro you will definitely have options for the graphics card upgrade. From most other points of view the Mac Pro is probably overkill, but if you want a reliable option for graphics card upgradability, it is the only option Apple gives you.

    Your other option is a two computer solution with a PC for gaming. Btw, building your own PC is not really difficult but often it is not cheaper than what you pay some of the PC making companies.
  18. Mac.Jnr thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2007
    I wouldn't even consider the Apple LCD, sorry but I'm being honest they are a bit of a rip.

    I think i'd rather get a nice dell or samsung for bit less.

    If the Mac Pro gets a DX10 card before the iMac then i would buy the Mac Pro.

    How much would a decent gaming PC cost if i built it myself?
  19. WannaGoMac macrumors 68020


    Feb 11, 2007
    Why build? Just get a C2D Dell. For like $600 you can get a complete system that's great for gaming (including monitor often).

    Check for great Dell deals with their coupons. Dell has a $350 off coupon on a $1000+ desktop right now for example.
  20. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    You would better off asking this on a more PC-centric forum about this. However, these days it's generally cheaper to buy a machine than build one.
  21. WannaGoMac macrumors 68020


    Feb 11, 2007
    And don't forget to include the eventual headache of one of your parts not working right etc. At least with a vendor you call them up and they take care of it -- albeit PC support generally sucks.
  22. dingdongbubble macrumors 6502a

    Jun 1, 2007
    Hey I think I am a bit too late but dude go for the Mac Pro. The 7600gt was a mid end card when it came out and its been quite some time since it rolled out. Go for the Mac Pro cuz you can upgrade the graphic card later on and games are showing up slowly which actualy utilize multiple cores. Alan Wake is one game which uses 4 cores. And remember that games are now going to come on the Mac also. Go for the Mac Pro. The iMac will last you just an year or two at max for gaming, while the Mac Pro should last quite some time with upgrades.
  23. pcorajr macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2007
    If i had the money i would go with a mac pro. like everybody said here you can upgrade it over the course of its life.

    I am in the same position as you are now. Since I did not have budget to purchase the Mac Pro I am waiting and saving to be able to afford it. I too was told that i should get the iMac because i was going to be able to do what i wanted with it. I'm 100% percent sure that the iMac would be a good choice but then i asked my self what about 4 years down the road? what about when that next great game comes out? what do I do then?

    If you are a casual gamer then the iMac is a good choice because more than likely you will be playing the same games. Good example of this is people that casually play WoW or current MMORPG. They do not need a Mac pro because Games like that do not eat up a lot of GPU. But if you are like me and is always trying the latest and greatest MMORPG then it would be Wise to purchase a expandable computer Or at least wait until the next iMac comes out then you will be able to purchase a computer that is more up to date.

    My options now are as follow.

    1. Save up and purchase a Mac Pro after the Intel Price cut. Upgrade as I see fit.

    2. Wait until new iMac are released and see what apple has to offer.
  24. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    I was in a situation similar to yours--granted, the reason I went with Mac was their superior support for photography (i.e. Aperture), and not gaming.

    I ended up getting a 2.66ghz Mac Pro with 2GB RAM and the base video card... I haven't ever, even when stressing them, gotten the processors above 55% capacity. Only bottleneck is the HDD that I have.

    I still suggest a Mac Pro (2.66) because of its expandability. The dual computer setups that have been suggested are nice, but doing that would completely kill my productivity, dunno if you mind the hassle.

    As for displays, I foolishly got an ACD 20"... a rip off, as are all Apple-supplied add ons (don't ever buy RAM, HDs, etc from them... ever)
  25. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    Alot of people say the Mac Pro is overkill.

    I say that you can never have too fast of a computer.

    Get the most you can afford.

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